John Curtin Leadership Academy students lead the way


Switched on: Rachael Byl helped develop a smartphone app.
Picture: Matt Jelonek          d455007
Switched on: Rachael Byl helped develop a smartphone app. Picture: Matt Jelonek        d455007

TWO students from Maddington and Thornlie graduated from the John Curtin Leadership Academy after helping with social work and raising money for charity respectively.

Thornlie resident Rachael Byl was involved in developing research for a smartphone app with Outcare to help the former prisoners integrate back into society and their |rehabilitation.

The 21-year-old took on the project as it tied in with her degree at Curtin University in social work.

Ms Byl helped develop the research for the app with a group as part of the academy, which was presented to Outcare to be developed in the |future.

She visited prisoners as part of the project, which she described as very beneficial in helping with the research.

Ms Byl said Outcare was very happy with the results presented.

“We had in excess in 200 ideas,” she said.

“The app would be available on their phone to access information and goal-setting tools.

“One thing I learnt personally was that I didn’t realise how much I enjoyed a community-based project.”

Maddington resident Jessica Cook has raised more than $4000 for the Organ Donation and Transplant Foundation as part of her project with the Academy.

She was part of a project to develop a music fundraiser and awareness event for the foundation, raising $4400 and reaching more than 8000 people.

The 24-year old said the team started with a zero budget as part of the music night and had to do Bunnings sausage sizzles and a movie screening of Deadpool in order to get funds. Ms Cook, who is studying human biology at Curtin, said she learnt a lot about learning to be professional and how it was harder than she thought to get free goods.

“We had to do lots of |networking and trying to reach out to new people,” she said.

“It’s a bit of a sensitive topic so people might shy away from it.”